At 3:25 (1924)
"Paris qui dort" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Short, Sci-Fi  |  1927 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,100 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 9 critic

A scientist's invisible ray freezes Paris into immobility.



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Credited cast:
Henri Rollan ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Martinelli ...
The scientist (as Martinelli)
Louis Pré Fils ...
The pilot
Madeleine Rodrigue ...
Hesta, the airline passenger
The niece / daughter of the scientist
Antoine Stacquet ...
The rich man (as Stacquet)
Marcel Vallée ...
International thief


Early roots of sci-fi magic are given to us in the form of a scientist who invents a ray that makes people caught in its beam fall asleep where they stand. With magical and wonderful shots of a Paris long gone, it is the adventure of a group of unaffected who with their sudden freedoms play the game of mice while the cat is away. With a narrative that sways toward a moralistic stance on the principles of fair play and responsibility, this little science fiction fable can still be poignant today as when the magnificent views were first shot from the dizzy heights of the Eiffel Tower. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Sci-Fi






Release Date:

1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

At 3:25  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is featured on the Criterion Collection DVD for Under the Roofs of Paris (1930). See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, and fun. To say the least.
29 November 2008 | by (An English Shire.) – See all my reviews

What a stunner this little movie is. With fantastic panoramic shots of early nineteen-twenties Paris. Called originally, Paris Qui Dort, plus too, At 3:25 or The Crazy Ray, this early science fiction story is set in, around and on the Eiffel Tower and the empty city Paris streets.

A night watchman, waking up one morning, while sleeping on the top of the Eiffel Tower, finds the whole of Paris has fallen asleep, permanently, with only himself for company and roaming the empty streets in bewilderment. After a short while, he stumbles across a small group of other bemused survivors. They explore. They take advantage. They have fun.

Parisian born René Clair's (1898 – 1981), whose other works include À nous la liberté Entr'acte (1924 short), Under the Roofs of Paris (1930) and À nous la liberté (1931), short comedy is a work of vision that today's contemporary cinema makers seem to have taken notice. With post isolationist films as 28 Days Later (2002), The Omega Man (1971) and Terry "Dalek creator" Nation's 1975 BBC television adaptation of "Survivors", this, Paris Qui Dort, is a very fascinating early contender of the sci-fi genre.

Placed at the heart is a narrative of while the cats are away the mice shall play, with wonderful shots of a bygone city seen from far above and with moments of comedy, The Crazy Ray is a classic of immense importance to the genre of sci-fi magic. Seen as the very first science fiction fable Georges Méliès's 1902 Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) has set the trend for visionary art, with the silent era composing of some of the greatest artists: Chaplin, Keaton, Clair, Lang and Hitchcock. At 3:25 can be seen as a new and fresh beginning for said filmmaker René Clair and a bold step into the unknown, as sound was soon to take control and all but the greatest has superseded to dominate.

Paris Qui Dort is a true gem, and while the mice are at play I highly recommend that you freeze time and find a moment to explore this intriguing visual work of art.

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